FrameMaker 11, along with RoboHelp 10 and Tech Comm Suite 4 was announced and simultaneously released Tuesday July 24th. August 7th at 10 AM, Sr. Product Manager Kapil Verma will give a detailed product overview of FrameMaker in a 90 minute session. Attend this session to find out why I consider this the most important release of FrameMaker in 10 years.
Go here to register:
(Note: if you miss the session, it will be recorded, and this blog will be updated with the link)
For a complete overview of FrameMaker, read Kapil Verma’s excellent blog, “FrameMaker 11 and FrameMaker Publishing Server 11 are here!“
Why is FrameMaker 11 such a big deal?
I’ve worked with FrameMaker for over 20 years and consider this the biggest release in at least 10 years for several reasons:
- XML/DITA authoring has been made incredibly easy with (a) strawman structure that drops in decent portions of structure in a new blank document, labeled with (b) banner text that guides you what type of content to type in.
- Improved workspaces: the default workspaces are more logical, with unrelated menus and commands removed
- 3 ways to view and work with XML: (a) traditional WYSIWYG (or print preview) mode, (b) Authoring mode (which resembles the “minimal formatting” view in most products) and (c) XML View, which allows you to interact directly with XML code, parsed in real time.
- Book file creation (for PDF output) from DITAMap has been improved so that generated files like Index, TOCs, etc. are now inserted automatically, eliminating a tedious, manual process.
- Rich media and 3D diagram support has been improved tremendously: (a) you can create links from specific parts of vector diagrams to relevant parts of your document and (b) automatically generate a hyper linked list of parts, views or animations from a 3D diagram. (This latter feature is a real boon to anyone creating documentation for complex equipment like medical devices.)
- Smart paste allows you to copy unstructured data like Word document content, HTML or Excel “tables” and “smart paste” the text into an XML document, automatically converting it into correct structure. Incidentally, this feature will convert embedded Word doc graphics into externally referenced “decent resolution” jpeg files. (You will probably want to relocate these external files to an adjacent directory.)
- Object styles enable you to (a) globally change position and alignment of named anchored frames, (b) make vector objects globally update graphics properties like angle, color, fill pattern, position, etc. There is a new catalog for managing Object styles.
- Additional features include improved CMS integration and more.
You will find this webinar most revealing, whether you attend it, or whether you watch the recording later.
Another useful resource for FrameMaker 11 is the PDF FrameMaker 11 Reviewer’s Guide, peppered with videos.
Once you’ve seen all the features in FrameMaker 11, I think you’ll be excited as I am. This is not a product you simply want to hunt and peck in, trying to determine what is new. You have to “see” it for yourself!